Catkins Nursery Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer
Catkins was established, opening mid November 2015 as a limited company and a 'sister' setting to Holy Innocents Playgroup' Southwater.
Catkins has one main play room off of a lobby area. There is a fully fitted kitchen, a nappy change/disabled toilet, a staff toilet and a children's bathroom. There are two shallow steps at the front of the building and a low level doorbell. To the rear is an exit door with a small, soft surfaced play area.
Age Range :- 2 years to school age. Open for 50 weeks of the year, 8am-6pm
A full admissions policy is available upon request.
Ofsted Registration Number :- EY490599
1. How does the early years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
When a child starts the nursery, all staff will observe them closely, especially in the early days to see how the child settles and if they are at the developmental level expected for their age. There is a key person assigned to all children who is the child's 'special person' and that member of staff will get to know the child and parent really well and is the parents' first point of contact. Should the key person identify that your child may need extra help and support then they will discuss their concerns with you, the parent, and then the settings' INCO/SENCO, (the Inclusion and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) who is experienced in helping children, and then they may request the support of outside agencies with parental consent if it is felt that assistance is needed. Usually the parent and staff members discuss the type of support needed and the nursery can help to put this in place, or provide information for the parent to seek advice or assessment. Should a parent have concerns before their child commences nursery, then advice and support can be put into place before the child actually starts.
Staff have experience of children with many different additional needs and will work with parents to seek support and advice perhaps from external agencies and professionals as soon as a concern has been identified to ensure the child's needs are met.
2. How will early years setting staff support my child?
The information gained from the parent prior to starting at nursery helps a child to settle and nursery to understand the support that child may need.
The setting also has a staff member identified as the SENCO/INCO, who will oversee the process of planning and assessment for your child with their key person. They will both give ideas and help to write a programme for your child which identifies their next stage of development using information about what they are good at or like, and what areas they need to develop further.
These 'goals' are reassessed approximately every six to eight weeks in the form of 'next steps' for your child to help them to progress, these are evaluated every half term to ensure progress has been made.
Nursery may write a 'One Page Profile' detailing your child's strengths, your comments and how to help your child with addidional hints and information, or we may write an Individual Plan (IP) for your child where additional specific targets are made and detailed. This plan will include ideas with specific targets to work on for your child.
Communication is usually ongoing and daily through regular discussions with the parent or through a communication book, especially if other agencies are involved in your child's care too, eg childminder/grandparents/nurse/speech therapist etc In the case of dual placements where a child attends a mainstream and a specialist provision then visits to the provision are made in order to liaise 'face to face' too.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
Your child's key person will work closely with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or the Inclusion Co-ordinator (SENCO/INCO), to make sure that your child has activities & experiences that will meet their needs & help them to make progress in their development. They will plan for your child's stage of learning & will keep a record of what your child has done in a 'Learning Journal'. This journal will have photographs & observations recording what your child does when playing. This will also help in plotting their stage of development each term to see if they are at the level expected for their age. These staff will also be involved in planning the 'next steps' for your child.
The SENCO may help to write an 'Individual Plan' (or IP) which will identify specific targets for your child to 'work' on & how to present them to your child.
Parents are involved in this process by discussing what your child likes doing at home & what they are good at, this information is used to assist in planning activities & their IP.
Staff have experience with children with a variety of additional need and all staff will have input through day to day discussions, in staff meetings where we discuss what is going well and where we need help, as well as in frequent discussions with parents.
The next steps and the IP will be linked and evaluated after approximately six weeks, and adapted or changed depending on the progress made by your child.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?
We are a small setting and parents bring their children in and collect by coming into the building and so we are able to chat with the child's key person and share information on a day to day basis.
We send home 'focus child' forms approximately every six to eight weeks and you can complete the form about what your child likes doing at the moment.
Key persons and other staff then focus on your child in the following week and gain observations & photographs showing what they are doing. These will be added to your child's learning journal. Your child's progress will then be plotted using the early years curriculum guidelines and the journal will be shared with the parent. Comments may be made and observations from home can also be added about any 'wow' moments your child may have had, eg new words, a sentence or a new stage in their development not noted before. We will discuss almost daily what we have done that morning and we are flexible so that if a parent has concerns or wishes to speak with staff, an appointment may be made at any time to discuss progress or concerns. We aim to meet with every parent once a term as a minimum or more often if a parent wishes.
We complete 2 year progress checks on each child after they commence nursery & we share these with the Health Visiting Team. The 2 year reviews are held at Catkins with the child's key person, senior staff and wherever possible any other health professional involved in the care and monitoring of your child. They will help you to know what stage your child is at, make sure they are progressing well and what we should plan together for the next stage in their development.
This provides us with an opportunity to share information and discuss any concerns or achievements your child has made .
Should a parent need to speak with a member of staff at any time, we are available to share journals or discuss your child's development. The owner is also available by telephone or e-mail if a parent wishes to pass on information away from the setting or mention anything in confidence, or we are able to provide space for confidential dscussion in the office.
Newsletters are produced termly for parents, and various social events and training evenings are held periodically over the academic year and parents may attend these to share information and to feel involved in your child's learning and the setting.
5. What support will there be for my child's overall well being?
The staff are very aware of all children's needs and in particular any anxieties they have or any personal care needs which must be met. Should a child be in nappies or following a toilet training programme we will be happy to support this and any specific care needs will be followed.
Emotional support is given and discussions and contact with other professionals or agencies is sought where appropriate with parental consent and visits welcomed.
Nursery staff discuss emotions and feelings and assist in behaviour management with social situations modelled at the child's level as appropriate.
Policies for Behaviour Management, Equality & Diversity, Additional Needs & Food & Hygiene are held & updated regularly. We will administer medicines with regard to our medicine policy & training is sought for administering specific medications if required.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
Staff will liaise with all professionals involved in the care of your child with parental consent and any specialist service welcomed into the setting. Catkins sister setting has worked with physiotherapists speech therapists, sensory support and OT's in the past and the SENCO/INCO will co-ordinate any visits necessary for your child.
Staff access regular training courses in varied subjects and signing is used throughout the setting with all children. Pictorial information and messages are displayed in the setting with prompts giving information to children in varied ways supporting routines, behavioural expectations and communication needs.
All staff are first aid trained and most are trained to Level 3 NVQ. The manager has past experience of working with children with a variety of additional needs and is well informed regarding the process of accessing support, EHCP'S and adhering to the Code Of Practice.
Nursery is also able to access assistance with parental consent, in the form of Targetted Setting Support (TSS), or the SALSS (Speech & Language Setting Support). This is provided by W.S.C.C. Early Years & Childcare Advisors or the Speech & Language Support Team. They are able to advise the setting on support and training, including meeting with staff and parents at the setting to discuss what is going well at home and at nursery. They are available to settings for advice by telephone; strategies are shared with the parent and a plan of action made.
7. What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
We have one Level 2 staff member at Catkins and all other staff hold at least a level 3 qualification as a minimum, one has a level 5 qualification, and two staff members have a level 6 degree. The manager holds a NNEB (level 3) qualification and has undertaken Open University credits in curriculum and supporting learning for children with additional needs and has worked with the under 7's age group for over thirty years and has SEND experience.
All staff are first aid trained and trained in child protection; these courses are renewed every three years as a minimum, (many are reviewed in staff meetings on a regular basis), as well as health and safety, food hygiene and manual handling.
All staff attend regular curriculum courses and identify their training needs in discussion with the manager. Makaton signing is used by all staff.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?
Nursery will risk assess each activity and planned outing in order that it is accessible to all children. All parents will be informed of trips or activities and the parent is always invited to speak to staff if they are unsure about any aspect of the outing or activity.
The SENCO/INCO will ensure all children can participate. One to one support will be given if required. Preparation and discussions with all children and staff prior to the outing ensures that all participants are fully informed.
9. How accessible is the early years setting environment? (Indoors and outdoors)
Catkins has two shallow steps to the front of the building and is wheelchair accessible only from the rear due to the fabric and position of the building. There is a low level door bell at the entrance of the building to call for assistance if necessary.
The environment is very visual with signage throughout. Songs and music are used for changes in routine. Signing is used for all children, with pictorial styled symbols, visual timelines, timers and 'now and next' cues are used within the daily routines for all children.
There is a bathroom with changing table that has space for nappy changing and plenty of room for toileting needs with the child and carer. Extra adaptations may be made if required.
Books are available in dual languages; and parents of children attending have recorded books read out in English and the child's first language. Some books have positive images of disabled adults/children and toys are also available eg children/adults with walking aids etc. All toys and equipment will be adapted however possible in order for it to be accessible to all users. Large print & paper copies of all information in different languages are available upon request. Recorded stories are used regularly in the child's first language.
The outside area is all one level with a safety surface fitted.
Additional adaptations will be made as and when necessary to meet the needs of children or parents attending/using the setting.
10. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting initially, or transfer to a new setting/school?
Catkins arranges usually three pre-entry visits prior to commencing nursery, where requirements can be discussed and any adaptations put in place prior to starting.
If a home visit is required, Catkins staff can visit the child's home prior to the child starting nursery.
Individual settling in needs will be discussed and a flexible approach taken in order that your child enjoys his/her time and settling in is as easy as possible for the family, your child and staff in order for all parties to understand and meet each child's needs therefore more visits may be arranged if necessary.
Catkins will ensure receiving schools have accurate information on your child and their needs and will liaise with your consent to ensure a smooth transition.
Transition to school will be carefully planned with the aim of visits to and from local schools. We welcome local school staff in to visit Catkins prior to the child's entry into school. Catkins staff are also willing to visit with the child to the receiving school if required. Catkins staff are able to visit school in the weeks after school entry if this is helpful to the school and support and contact will be offered by the Catkins to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
All journals, developmental files and records are passed on with parental permission to the receiving school if required. Books and resources will be available for each child no matter where their school is, eg uniform, book bags and photo books of the school. Dual placement children may have key worker visits to their dual placement pre-school settings throughout their time at Catkins and we welcome other settings in to visit our nursery too.
11. How are the early years setting's resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs?
Catkins may be able to access 'Inclusion Funding' for your child. This funding may be used to raise the ratio within the setting to employ more staff to ensure your child's needs are met or for training needs for example. Nursery will seek additional funding for any specialist resources your child may need or smaller purchases will be met by the setting.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The decision as to if your child needs additional support in the form of funding is usually made by the manager and SENCO/INCO and the staff team as a whole. Support regarding IP's and resources will be co-ordinated by them together with your child's key person. Catkins will support all children who wish to attend and will adapt and plan accordingly with regular reviews and parental input. This will ensure any changing needs are met as your child develops. The Catkins ethos and aims are to support every child, no matter what their needs are and nursery as a team will do everything they can to support your child and your family whatever that need may be including support through the process of transition to school and Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCP) and the system for preparing for school entry known as the Early Years Planning & Review Meetings (EYPARM).
13. How are the parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
Parents, the key person and SENCO/INCO are all involved in decision making and discussions on your child's development and progress. We meet termly as a minimum with parents as a minimum to look at journals formally, and are always available to chat.
In addition, there are many informal ways to get involved and parents may help during a session with local trips to the park and walks, cooking activities, picnics, craft sessions the Christmas events and fundraising social afterwards and various evening or daytime events. We welcome skill swaps, especially when a parent has an area of expertise that they are willing to share or a curious pet! We have a 'Father's Fortnight' in June and we are always keen for parents to approach us on how to become involved.
14 Who can I contact for further information?
Once your child has commenced Catkins, the first point of contact about your child is your child's key person, or you may speak with the SENCO/INCO, or the supervisor of the day.
You may also contact Cathy Walden, (the manager) either at the setting or by telephone on 01403 258962 , or by e-mail at:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you prefer, then just come and visit nursery; ring the doorbell, come in and see us we would be happy to answer any queries you may have and show you our setting.
We welcome comments from parents about Catkins provision for children with SEND.